Heredity refers to the transmission of mental and physical traits from one generation to another. It is one of the building blocks of a child’s development and is one of the most influential factors that shape a child’s individuality.

Effects of Heredity on Growth and Development

The effects of heredity on a child’s development are as follows:

Intellectual ability

Heredity is the base upon which rests an individual’s intellectual ability. Each child acquires a different type of intelligence from their parents. Depending on their genetics, some children may have an aptitude for creative intelligence while some may be adept in analytical intelligence or some other type of intelligence.

On Individual Personality

Heredity is partially responsible for shaping an individual’s personality. Every child is born with a different temperament. They may have different levels of patience, irritability, persistence, shyness, activeness, and the like which affects the child’s adaptability to learning.

Mental health

Many mental health conditions are said to be related to genetic factors which can affect one’s learning and development. Learners with mental health disorders may face problems in learning and may not be able to pay attention which can delay their learning.


According to Ngaroga (2003),

“genetic factors set the limit of a given trait but the environment determines how much the potential can be realized.”

It is important for both the parents and teachers to realize that every child has different abilities. Therefore, they should try to identify each child’s potential and try to nurture the same.

influence of heredity and environment on growth and development of a child
Image: Impacts of Environment and Heredity on Child Development